Myanmar atrocity forces influx of 73,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh
September 3rd, 2017 at 3:01 pm
Myanmar atrocity forces influx of 73,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh

Dhaka – They are coming in their thousands. Never mind to cross the hilly or muddy paths; no matter whether it is sunny, cloudy or rainy. They are desperate. Distressed, they need to save their lives from the violence that they have escaped narrowly only a score of kilometers away.

Men are seen carrying small bags full of most necessary utensils, whatever they could grab at the time they fled burning homes. Women, mostly clad in balk burqa, were seen holding their children in arms. They all are waking, walking through the earthen roads towards a much-needed shelter, wherever it is. No matter if it is a squalid slum or a community center or a school building crowded with thousand others of them. Even they don’t mind to stay in jungle with a sigh of relief after they crossed into Bangladesh territory.

These people are looking for safety as they crossed into Bangladesh after facing persecution in Myanmar – Pinaki Roy

They are Rohingya, the most persecuted ethnic group in the world, from Rakhine state of Myanmar, located across the southeastern Bangladeshi border. The tension over Rohingya is not new in this part of the world. Rohingya fled to what is now Bangladesh in four main periods: the late 1700s and early 1800s, the 1940s, 1978 and, most recently, in 1991, 1992, 2012, 2016 and 2017, according to the Human Rights Watch study.

The latest persecution on the Rohingya, Muslim by religion, began on August 25, 2017. More than 400 people were killed as what the Myanmar government says in a counter-insurgency drive after at least 30 police posts and army bases were attacked by Rohingya insurgents.

The Burmese army in the name of ‘clearance operation’ created a horrendous situation across the Rakhine by attacking civilians, torching homes and killing women and children, according to those who could manage to escape and crossed into Bangladesh.

As of Sunday (September 3), at least 73,000 people crossed into Bangladesh after the deadly attacks, according to UN refugee agency in Dhaka.

Hundreds others are still crossing into Bangladesh,” said Joseph Tripura, spokesman of the United Nations High Commission for Refugee. The earlier estimate on Wednesday by International Organisation for Migration put the figure at 38,000.

Bangladeshi government, which initially put its border guards on alert to prevent influx of Rohingya, eventually relaxed the frontier to let in the persecuted people from a humanitarian point of view.

Bangladesh Myanmar

Driven away from home, this girl traveled from Rakhine State of Myanmar to Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district – Photo Saleh Noman

Burdened with repeated influx of Rohingya refuges, Bangladesh has been hosting more than 400,000 unregistered refugees who entered in phases of violence in Rakhine beginning in the 1978.

After the latest wave of violence, many people are trapped in the border between the two countries awaiting shelter, food, security and safety. Dozens have died trying to cross a river into Bangladesh in an effort to escape the unrest.

The UNHCR official said the local volunteers were trying to reach the displaced people with emergency supports, especially the life saving ones. The agency would go for a full-fledged need assessment after the influx ends.

The IOM, which coordinates humanitarian supports among the refugees, has appealed for international aids to support the persecuted people as the resources are limited to cope with the situation.